tv Comunidad del Valle NBC March 20, 2016 4:00pm-4:31pm PDT
an trujillo: hello and welcome to "comunidad del valle." i'm damian trujillo, and today, we celebrate the legacy of cesar chavez. cesar's family is here on your "comunidad del valle." male announcer: nbc bay area presents "comunidad del valle" with damian trujillo. damian: we begin with how fortunate we are of having in our midst here in the bay area the family of cesar chavez, who has remained humble throughout all these years and decades. with me on "comunidad del valle" is rudy chavez medina, cesar chavez's nephew. welcome back to the show, brother. rudy chavez medina: thank you, damian, for allowing us to be here again. damian: you know, you're here annually to celebrate the legacy of cesar during the holiday, the state holiday, during his birthday, but you're always here with the rest of your family, your mom. your mom is unfortunately not here with us today. she had a little accident, but how is she doing. rudy: she's doing fine.
you know, she slipped, and fell, and cracked the joint in her hip on sunday, so surgery was monday of last week. and they inserted a titanium tube. you know, the amazing miracles of medicine these days. so, knowing her, she'll be up and around before you know it. she was coming out of--let me just say real quick, she was coming out of recovery, and she was a little groggy, and all the family--all the girls are there, and i'm there, and she looks at the tv, and she goes, "isn't there a ballgame on right now? aren't the giants playing?" so, we turned it on. giants are winning 7-0, right? so, her spirits are well. damian: she was kind of cesar's confidant, no? porque, you know, it seems like he leaned on her sometimes for family comfort when things were a little tough. rudy: he actually did. he would come to her house and she would, you know, do a breakfast, or a little lunch, or a dinner, whatever time he had. and he always sat down with her and gave her the specifics about
a certain situation, and would ask her, "rita, so, qué piensas? what do you think?" you know, and my mom would say, "oh, well, you know," and then she'd give her advice and he'd say--she'd give him advice and he'd say, "okay. i'm gonna think about that." and then, you know, we'd see him on television a few days later and he's portraying exactly what she said. and my mom goes, "oh yeah, i thought i told him that." and i go, "no, mom, he said it." so yeah, she used to do that a lot for him. they were very, very close. they got married on the same day together. you know, they were comadres and compadres, and they were just really a tight knit family. damian: well, we're glad that she's doing well. rudy: yes, thank you. damian: this is a busy time for the entire family, from across the country. i mean, it's not even here on the west coast. easter sunday, the president is having his thing, or that week, and the family's gonna be there. i mean, you guys are scattered during this time, during the holiday for cesar chavez. rudy: yeah, it's extremely busy, as you say,
throughout the entire nation. and you know, there are so many events and there's not enough family members. so, the cesar chavez foundation actually developed a speakers bureau, so we have other people that understand and know the legacy. and they get invited to some of the events, 'cause i mean, even though our family is huge, there's still so many things going on, it's difficult to go to all of 'em. and you know, sometimes we get asked to do three or four things. and especially on his birthday, march 31st, you know, it's a really busy day, starting with the breakfast, and then going on and doing a lot of other things, and going to schools and community events, so. damian: yeah, no, i mean, we do have some beautiful images of then--images back then. but it is--i mean, is there any member of the family who is not outspoken, who doesn't speak well in public? yourself, for one. paul chavez, his son, is an amazing public--whenever he speaks, i just listen and take notes 'cause it's incredible. teresa, his granddaughter, is great at public speaking.
i mean, it runs in the family. rudy: it really does, and i think part of it is when you've been so accustomed to it in your family, then it makes it that much easier and it just comes and flows so effortlessly. speaking of public speakers, my son, gabriel, at my mom's 90th birthday, stood up impromptu and gave this speech about how he was motivated. and it was like, "whoo! that's my son. oh, wow." and the only people--there are some family members that just don't wanna be in the public eye at all, and they are more reserved. but anybody that doesn't mind, you know, speaking about his legacy or his influence, yes, in our family, they are. damian: talk about this image here, and i wanna talk about it in our next segment as well, because this was long overdue. cesar, of course, was a navy veteran, and this is the final salute by the military, decades after his death. rudy: that was an amazing event.
you know, they had a flag for each of cesar's children and for his widow, my aunt, helen. and there was a tremendous speaker there, a woman who is an executive officer for the navy, who will actually be our keynote speaker for our breakfast. damian: well, let's talk about on the other side, 'cause i wanna get into that. the breakfast is coming up also, every march 31st, and it's happening again this coming march 31st, 8 o'clock at the holiday inn in san jose. log on to that website for more information. we'll have more with rudy chavez medina when we continue. stay with us. [music]
and you know, it was almost an afterthought, because when he passed away, it was so sudden that, you know, thinking about a military burial wasn't really high on the priority, 'cause we were all so really grief-stricken. so, i think it was very appropriate. even though it took a little while, a couple of decades, as you say, 21 years, the fact that it was done and that it was recognized, and it even comes after the naval department named a supply ship after him, the cesar chavez. usns cesar chavez that was launched on cinco de mayo, 3 years ago. so, and that was ironic, and i asked one of the admirals, you know, "how did you come about picking cinco de mayo?" and he goes, "you know, rudy, we were just lucky 'cause that's when the tide came up." it was high tide, and that's when we could launch. and i was going, "oh, okay." i thought it was gonna be something better, but-- damian: [laughing] rudy: but in any case, yeah, we'll take it. so, it was good. and actually, that ship has gone overseas to iraq and iran and
supplied other ships, such as the larger battleships, you know, different supplies, and ammunition, and stuff. damian: boy, that's great. and the speaker, again, will be the keynote speaker at the breakfast this year. rudy: yes, yes, she will. she did an awesome job. a woman at a high executive level of the military and of the naval academy--not the academy, but the naval department, was excellent. a latina, who talked about how she went through the actual navy, and how she got to where she was at, and how cesar inspired her. so, when she was talking to me--we had a lot of good speakers there, but she just captured everybody's heart. damian: oh, that's great. well again, the whole slew of events happening. we had a march this past--yesterday, over on the east side of san jose, so that was great. and i mean, this is--it's a way to honor his legacy. rudy: yes, we have to continue to promote that legacy because of all the things that he's done. and then you think about things that are going on today, and his
movement with farmworkers continues, but there's other social justice movements that have been taking place and that need to have attention. and the citizenry of this nation needs to understand, you know, how individuals can change, how important education is, how important being involved in your community is, how important helping one another is, and the different that that can make. and he proved it. damian: i mean, it's gotta be really difficult to be nonviolent in your effort. because, i mean, you know what, [speaking foreign language] whenever, the first chance we get, you know, if things heat up. but he remained true to that theme. rudy: you know, he used to say that it takes more strength to be nonviolent than to be violent, 'cause you have to tap into your inner reserve to not, you know, always just think about, you know, "i'm gonna react. i'm gonna, you know, retaliate." it's kind of the philosophy of, "turn the other cheek," you know? and that's what his mom, my abuelita, would always
teach us and tell us. so again, growing up in that environment, it's much easier for us to be nonviolent and to actually get results through nonviolence. damian: we have the local flag raising at san jose city hall of the huelga flag. we have a local holiday, we have a state holiday, and we're still working on the national holiday. that effort has died down, right? rudy: no, it has not. as a matter of fact, i got a call 2 weeks ago from folks in minnesota that want to sign the petition and get it continuing in that area. the southwest has a really good, strong movement. so does the southeast in florida. there's a lot of latinos down there, a lot of people in chicago. so, to get minnesota, and kansas, and you know, idaho, it's like, "all right, now we're moving," you know? so, it's a movement that i think in the not-too-distant future will come to fruition, that national holiday. damian: maybe get rid of columbus day
and throw this one in there. both: [laughing] damian: again, the breakfast is happening here, coming up on march 31st, but a whole slew of events happening all over the country. you can log on to that website, chavezfamilyvision.org to find out what the local events are and maybe how you can participate. we'll be back with rudy chavez medina when we continue. [music]
"comunidad del valle" with cesar's nephew, rudy chavez medina. you know, this past week, rudy, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the march from delano to sacramento, and you were there. rudy: yes, i was. i was 11 years old and my family went during christmas vacation--i mean, easter vacation. there you go. and we walked from stockton all the way to sacramento. and it was amazing about that march, damian, is that when they started in delano, there were 80 farmworkers. by the time we got to sacramento on easter sunday,
there were 10,000 people. so, all along the march, it just kept growing, and growing, and growing. damian: how inspirational was it to see the flock growing? i mean, to see it grow from where it was to where it finished. i mean, obviously you're tired by the time you get to stockton, by the time you get, you know, to some of the cities that are north, elk grove and what not. but at what point do you say, "wow, this is more powerful than we ever imagined," and that you were energized by the throngs of people? rudy: you know, during the first march, just marching along with my family, my little sister in a stroller, and hearing the chanting, and hearing, you know, everybody just doing all the, "viva la huelga!" and "viva cesar chavez!" and i'm going, "cesar chavez? that's my uncle." these guys are all chanting and cheering him on and that made me feel really good. and you know, we grew up in a family of activists, so it was just automatic that i would become an activist because of his role.
but it was also the role of my grandmother, who inspired all of us by saying, you know, "you need to help others. you need to have service for others. don't just think about yourself." and so, cesar took that philosophy and elevated it to a level that was outstanding. so, it was very inspirational. very inspirational. damian: your thoughts at assemblymember lorena gonzalez's pitch this bill to give the farmworkers overtime after 8 hours, not after 10 hours, but after 10 hours, to deservedly get that overtime. rudy: well you know, california is the only state that has a law that helps farmworkers, and that's the agricultural labor relations act, and then they have the agricultural labor relations board, kind of like the nlra and the nlrb. and i think it's a long time coming to get something. i mean, farmworkers sometimes--i remember when i was a farmworker as a little boy, you know, i would get there early in the morning before sunrise and leave at sunset, and that was longer
than 10 hours and it was longer than 8 hours. sometimes it went 14-16 hours and there wasn't an enforcement back then. and it's really weak now to enforce too, but i think helping getting that started is the beginning, because that's how it started when we got the 8-hour guarantee and the 40-hour guarantee. it started slowly but surely. so, i applaud the effort. i wish it would be 8, but we'll take poco, poquito. a little at a time. damian: and you know, we have a progressive pope right now at the vatican, and there's been a long effort to canonize cesar chavez. we all know that he--well, tell us how religious he was, because everywhere--every march that you saw, [speaking in foreign language] was at the forefront of every march. but there is this effort to canonize him. i don't know where that's at now, but you have a progressive pope who might be more accepting. rudy: well, you know, the traditional canonization has a requirement of three miracles, and generally, it's long after
the person has passed away. and the person that was really spearheading it here in the area here was sal alvarez, who unfortunately passed away, but the effort is still continuing. he was a deacon here in the santa clara county, and he had a lot of influence in the catholic community and in the hierarchy. so, we're hoping that that's gonna continue. it's a way's off still, but just like the national holiday, it's a vision that's out there. there's a possibility, so what we have to do is continue to strive for those goals. damian: that's great. rudy: just like cesar did. strive for water, strive for bathrooms, strive for worker's comp, you know? and he eventually got 'em. damian: like you said, poco poquito. rudy: yep, poco poquito. damian: my 5th grade daughter at adelante school, you know, the whole school--or the whole district, you can write a poem or draw a picture of cesar for the holiday. and the poem she wrote is just incredible.
your thoughts on the fact that it is a legacy, because the younger generation, the next generation, even past millennials, they're holding onto that legacy and they're carrying it with them. rudy: i think that is awesome. you know, they do it at the alum rock school district also. they do it at east side union high school district. i'm waiting for san jose unified to start to do something. but there are a lot of other school districts that are doing that, and i think it's important and it's a key to have the younger children understand that legacy, appreciate that legacy, and promote the legacy themselves, because they will prosper from some of the things that cesar did and some of the activities that they will perform in and they will be involved in. i was approached the other day by a notre dame student, lauren, and she was so involved, wrote an editorial about workers' rights, is just so in tune with farmworkers' rights, i should say, and she's awesome. so happens to be that she's related to a local politician and that's also helped her be so involved, but she has a great
dynamic amongst herself and she's gonna get her coworkers--i'm sorry, her colleagues and her classmates involved in the social justice movement for farmworkers. so, seeing that is just awesome. i mean, that really, from my perspective, in my opinion, it really shows that cesar's legacy will continue for many, many more years. damian: again, it's happening all across the country, all these events. you can log on to that website, but the commemorative breakfast is happening march 31st, 8 o'clock in the morning, at the holiday inn on north 1st street there in san jose. log on to that website for more information. thank you, brother, for everything you're doing and continue to do in this community. appreciate it. rudy: yeah, well we have to invite you to the golf tournament too. damian: i'm there. rudy: on august 20th. damian: i'm always there. rudy: i know. damian: all right, and up next here on "comunidad del valle," los compadres with some movimiento music. stay with us.
damian: and here is our address for next week's saludos. you can follow me on twitter. my handle is @newsdamian. also, pick up a copy of "el observador" newspaper and support your bilingual weeklies all across the bay area. we thank you once again for joining us on "comunidad del valle." we're gonna leave you now with los compadres and some movimiento music in honor of the cesar chavez legacy. [music] [music] [singing in foreign language] [singing in foreign language]
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